House Beautiful members only site recently published a similar article and I felt that it was important to share it with you. This post is in my own words but the content may be similar.
We are all starting to feel the squeeze.... manufacturers of furniture are way behind, our reps are telling us of the delays, we are telling our clients and our clients are upset. The good and bad news is that it is happening to everyone. Unfortunately, that doesn't ease the frustration around "when will my room ever be complete?". Perhaps understanding what is behind all of these delays will put it all into perspective. (And a glass of wine and a deep breath.)
Parts and pieces come from all over the world. While your beautiful sofa (chair, side table, etc.) is manufactured in the USA, that doesn't mean that other parts necessary for its completion are too. Springs, screws, hinges, etc. may be coming from China or Indonesia or Europe. And manufacturing of these items is behind over there. So that delays the furniture manufacturer here. It's all supply chain. And it's a big bummer!
There is a foam shortage. Yes, cushions even in your down sofa have a foam core. There is foam in the seat back. There is foam in your tufted ottoman. And foam is made out of chemicals. Chemical manufacturers focused on hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray during the pandemic. They are now just getting back to their regular program. So they are a bit behind in foam production.
Skilled work is hard to come by. During the pandemic, factories closed down. Skilled laborers were out of work. Then as they began to open, some had found other jobs. New safety protocols slowed down production. Absenteeism became an issue due to quarantine restrictions (exposure) or diagnosed COVID cases. The skills needed to manufacture one piece of furniture are deep.... someone who can sew, another hand tying springs, someone else building the frame, upholstery, etc. These are all skills that take years to learn and each person has their specialty. If one of those skilled workers is out sick, the whole chain of production is slowed down.
Your order gets in line. When your order is placed, it goes to the end of the queue. And if the orders in front of you are delayed for any reason, so is yours. It's the domino effect. Plain and simple.
Shipping delays. Again, a lack of skilled workers is causing shipping delays. Licensed commercial drivers, logistics managers, forklift operators, etc. are skilled workers in short supply that are putting delivery of your items way behind. Then add in the gas shortage that recently hit the Southeast and you've got a recipe for delivery disaster. Sometimes, the item will be delivered to the shipper and will sit on a truck for weeks until a qualified driver is available.
Hopefully this helps everyone understand a bit better why the furniture and design industry is falling behind. As more and more countries lift their restrictions and people go back to work, production should begin to correct itself. However, it will take some time to get back to normal. Be patient. Your beautifully designed room will be worth the wait!